Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government in the country had created quite the stir in bureaucratic circles by announcing a lateral entry scheme to the post of joint secretary in selected departments. Such a type of scheme was hereby unknown and had resulted in scepticism from various circles, but the online applications received by the government have put all these speculations to rest. The central government has received over 6,000 applications from private sector professionals for the 10 posts of joint secretary in selected departments. The private sector specialists have shown overwhelming interest in joining the government to make the government work smoothly and effectively. The government’s plan to rope in fresh talent which has experience in revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture and farmers welfare, road transport, shipping, environment, forest and climate change renewable energy and civil aviation is soon going to bear fruit. The deadline to apply for these 10 posts was July 30th, and according to a senior personnel in the ministry the central government is currently working on short listing the profiles of candidates.
The maximum number of applications received is 1,100 against one post depending on the department concerned, while the minimum for a post is 290, which is enough to show the enthusiasm amongst private sector professionals to join the ranks of the central government. The recommendation for including private sector professionals in the government had come from Niti Aayog. Shortage of officers at the Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary levels too had alleviated the need for hiring personnel from outside immediately. Minister of State for personnel Jitender Singh said, “Based on the recommendation of SGoS, government has decided to undertake lateral recruitment of ten Joint Secretaries on contract basis in order to achieve the twin objectives of bringing in fresh talent as well as augment the availability of manpower”.
The lateral entry scheme is an excellent scheme which will not only provide a fresher perspective to the government but will also make the decision making process easier. The recruitment of highly trained professionals who have no dearth of experience and knowledge in their respective fields will also enhance the quality of work carried out by the government. The current bureaucracy in India has been often accused of being unproductive which results in delays in government projects and the lack of quality work too creeps in quite often. PM Modi upon taking up the PM post in 2014 had tried to heed the bureaucrats to mend their ways and had continued to do so in the following years.
While the system and the bureaucracy did improve owing to the repeated prodding done by PM Modi, it still has a long way to go and therefore the induction of fresh faces in the ministry is a great initiative. These lateral entry recruitments will not only help the government fill up the vacant posts but the experience of these private sector professionals in specific departments will also boost the overall quantity and quality of work done. All the factors ranging from client acquisition to project handling in time and best quality delivery of the final product will also follow. PM Modi and his government’s decision will also lead to a more competitive atmosphere for the existing bureaucrats and their effectiveness will now be judged against a benchmark set by the experts of the industry. A parameter to judge the efficiency of top bureaucrats will motivate the existing personnel to increase their output. A win-win situation for PM Modi and his central government and for the general public indeed.